Boats on a canal in Amsterdam

Getting a taste for Amsterdam

If you’re looking for a great weekend getaway, consider spending a couple of days in the Dutch capital. However, it would be best to inform you that two or three days might not be enough to fully enjoy the city. Nevertheless, you’ll get a pretty good taste of what Amsterdam is all about in a couple of days away.

Boats on a canal in Amsterdam

Waterways & canals

Amsterdam is built on a labyrinth of waterways – before you do anything else in the city, do a cruise. A one hour boat trip along the maze of canals is absolutely fascinating. You can take photos and experience some of the world’s most marvelous architecture right from the boat. There are plenty of boats that will offer tours around the canal network, but if it’s a nice day, look for one that has an open top or so you can take photos without the windows getting in the way.

Amsterdam’s canals are on the UNESCO world heritage list, so you can expect to have a grand time touring the network. Make sure that your camera is fully charged and that you have a lot of space left for your photos, or even short videos!

Bike around

Once you’re done seeing Amsterdam by boat, take a tour around the city. When I first went to the city, we got fooled by a very irritating car ad, and ended up being stuck behind hordes of cyclists and pedestrians! This city is just too beautiful to be rushing along in a car; walking is the best way to get from place to place or if you need a little bit more speed, hire one a bicycle. A small warning about walking on the streets: pay attention to the bicycle lanes. Yes, there are bicycle lanes and the locals won’t stop for you!

RLD

Amsterdam is famous for its Red Light District. If you’re thinking that because it’s called a red light district, then the place must be sleezy, you’re wrong. The RLD is just like any other business center, although instead of seeing different products in shop windows, you’ll see women in lingerie trying to convince you to come in.

Two things to bear in mind about the Red Light District:

  • Avoid going to the RDL alone at night. If you really want to go, go there with a group. Amsterdam has its share of crooks and like all other crooks they prey for victims during the night.
  • Don’t ever take a snapshot of one of the women in the windows. You can get in trouble doing this. It’s best to keep the memories in your brain and not in a camera for this part of town.

Museums

Amsterdam also has a number of interesting museums that you can visit – everything from the standard fayre, such as the Amsterdam Historical Museum at Dam Square; to unique attractions like the Sex museum, or Anne Frank’s house.

Those are my top tips – have fun on your trip!

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